By: Vaibhav Singh
With the quarter final draws coming out yesterday , we have some very exciting games coming ahead in the month of April. With Bayern Munich , the only German club which is able to register in the last 8, we have 2 English clubs , Liverpool FC and Manchester City FC , which will compete each other, 3 Spanish clubs including Real Madrid FC , FC Barcelona and Sevilla FC and two Italian clubs , including the Old Lady Juventus and Roma FC.
On 3rd and 11th April , we have Sevilla FC vs FC Bayern Munich and Real Madrid FC vs Juventus FC whereas on 4th and 10th April we have Barca vs Roma and. City vs Liverpool.
The group stages are going to be pretty excited as we encounter the meeting of previous year finalists Real Madrid and Juventus facing each other. Both the teams are going low in their domestic leagues but have performed class apart in the European competition. Real Madrid have only lost one game in the whole competition , which was against the tournament drop outs Tottenham Hotspur in England and Juventus have also lost only a single game which was against FC Barcelona by 3-0 in the group stage.
The Los Blancos are again the favourites to win the tournament with their talisman, Cristiano Ronaldo breaking all the records coming in the way. Juventus were able to beat their Spanish counter parts , only in the semi finals of the 2014-15 session , only to be beaten by Barcelona in the final by 3-0 .
Both the clubs sharing an old rivalry , but mutual respect , have always displayed the best names of the games on the field. The current Real manager Zinadane Zidane is a former for both the clubs and is a legend.
The Italians are said to have the best defence, but the Spanish attack have pierced them apart an year ago scoring 4 goals in the final, two of which coming from Ronaldo.
The English Derby is also one of the most spectacular games to watch. With Liverpool having the most attempts on goal in the group stage , Manchester city are on the top of pass completion table , with accurately completing 90% passes along side FC Barcelona. This clearly shows the status and balance of their midfield. The Kops were fortunate to have their marquee player Philippe Coutinho on their side till the group stage , and were able to occupy a colossal victory over Manchester City in the English Premier League.
But now, with the departure of their Brazilian skipper, the offence may not be as blunt as back, but Sadio Mane along with Roberto Firmino and Mohd Salah are trying to fill in his place and his pace and are able to keep Liverpool on the top of scoring chart in the Champions League.
The battle between Roma and Barcelona can be called as battle of Messis. The Roma goalkeeper, Alisson , aka The Brazilian Don Draper, is titled as” the Messi of goalkeepers” by their former goalkeeping coach Roberto Negrisolo. Roma still to concede a goal at home can be a glitch for the Catalonians. It will be a challenge for them to pass the Alisson wall , but with the comeback of their lucrative signing Ousmane Dembele, the French prodigy , and the team getting confident from the Chelsea game , Barca may give a hard time to the Romans .
Roma is dependent on their in form striker Edin Dzeko for the offensive purpose. The former Manchester city man with his strong physique can be a problem for the Catalonian side but the game wouldn’t be a non-zero sum game , with Barca standing ahead with a little more better squad and talking about the Sevilla – Bayern game , the game won’t be a balanced one as Roma are the dark horses of the tournament. Their domestic run isn’t also a good one , whereas Bayern Munich are 20 points clear of the second place Schalke.
Football is a game if inconsistency, and only the best are able to stay at the top over the years. There can also be a debate for the top four teams , but no one can guess the probable winners of the upcoming games as all the teams have performed mystical at some points in the Champions League. Sevilla , as said are the dark horses , the fact cannot be denied that they are also the winner of Europa league for consecutive three years.